Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas: After a three month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PGA tour is set to return June 11th for the Charles Schwab Challenge, much to the excitement of golf fans and sports fans in general. This event will have a “major” like feel to it, given the long layoff. 16 of the worlds top 20 players will be in the field and it is anybodies guess who has their game in top form. Golf is one of the few things that has been allowed to continue on a recreational level in many states during the coronavirus shutdown, making it logical to think that many players have had a chance to at least play, hit the range and stay somewhat sharp. Nevertheless, a lack of competition and the grind of putting 4 rounds together presents a unique challenge for not only the players, but for those handicapping the event or playing fantasy/daily fantasy golf. Here are our thoughts and picks on what might happen this weekend in Fort Worth.
Our Top Daily Fantasy Picks (FanDuel): Pick 6 players. $60,000 Salary Cap
John Rahm ($11,900): Of the top dollar players, I like Rahm this week. The world number 2 will be gunning for the #1 rank and has had success on this course in the past with a 5th in 2017 and a 2nd in 2018 (with rounds of 69, 68 twice, 66 twice and a 64). He missed the cut last year, but since that he has played 18 events and and has 15 top tens including 3 wins, 4 second place finishes and 3 thirds.
Rickie Fowler ($10,900): Fowler was the best player in the exhibition match with Wolff vs Johnson and McIlroy. He made 7 birdies in that round and the other three made 9 combined. And if you follow social media at all, you will know he and some his bros (Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth) have been playing some golf and it sounds like Rickie is dusting them their as well, even taking down Thomas in a match where they both played old clubs including persimmon woods and balata balls….and he still broke par.
Jordan Spieth ($10,000): If anybody could have used this “break” it is Spieth. He had dropped to 56th in the world and struggled with being able to put 4 rounds together especially on Sunday. Some forced time away and a return to an old friend like Colonial we think will be just what the golf doc ordered. The last 4 times Spieth has played here he won (2016), 2nd (2017), 32nd(2018) and 8th (2019) with 12 of 16 rounds in the 60’s including 4 rounds of 65. Being comfortable with a course will be a key factor as the players get back into competition mode.
Kevin Na ($9,800): Na has set this course on fire the last two years. He is the defending champion and was 4th in 2018 including two rounds of 62 and tying the course record with a 61. Those are some serious low numbers and we will take them all day long.
Russell Knox ($8,800): Knox loves going low at Colonial with an 8th and 20th his last two times here with 6 rounds in the 60’s. Sneaky pick here as the Scotsman is currently number 123 in the world and missed his last 4 cuts before the stoppage. Should be a low percentage play that can score you big in large tournaments.
Emialiano Grillo ($8,400): If you want Rahm and Rickie you gotta dig, and we have a good nugget here in Grillo. The Argentine has gone 19th, 3rd and 24th his last 3 trips around Colonial with 8 rounds in the 60’s including a pair of 64’s. So long as he can sign a correct scorecard (he was DQ’d his last tourney out) he should be able to put up some solid points at this price range.
WHO WILL WIN?
We like Rickie Fowler here at 30/1 (William Hill). As mentioned, he got 7 birdies in one of the only live golf event we have watched and he certainly has the game to be in the hunt every single week.
Like all of you I cannot wait to enjoy 4 days of live tournament golf. Best of luck with all your picks and enjoy the return of the PGA Tour.